My wife and I have lived in our home now for over six years, and we have decided that it is time for a change... a move. She would like a pool, and I would like a three car garage and a larger office. So we are looking at moving to another house... yea... (sarcasm alert).

While in the attic sorting through boxes deciding what we would keep, what goes to Goodwill, and what will be tossed in the trash, I stopped and looked around. I took a visual inventory of all those boxes. I realized that there are boxes of things we don't want to take with us, some that have not been touched in, yes you guessed... six years. While going through some of the boxes, I found tons of old training materials. Books on leadership from the 80's and 90's, old participant guides, facilitator guides, white papers, as well as communication and presentations skills workbooks. You name it, it's is up there. It appears that I have held onto everything that I ever received in a class or workshop that I attended or facilitated…

As you can imagine much of what I kept is old and practically all of the information is outdated and not relevant today. I have boxes of old books by many authors who now have second and third editions of their material available. While I look at my day-timers and planners I think out-dated is not a strong enough adjective to describe some of the things I have in my attic. Some material I may have used once, perhaps twice and then they were put in boxes.

When presenting or facilitating, l change my material as often as needed to ensure that the information I impart is as current as possible. I continue to learn new concepts and embrace the new technology that aids me in my facilitating and presenting. Yet I have held onto all of my old outdated materials. I box these materials up, take them to my attic, and never use them again. So my question is "Why do I hold on to these things knowing they would never be used again?"

Some of us have a tendency to hold on to "old' things. They can be old training materials, books, magazines, or even tickets to concerts we once attended. Many times holding onto old “familiar” things is the way we manage, the way we communicate, or the way we make presentations. Why don't we just let these things go? We don't have to do things different... just differently.

One reason many people hold onto things is because it is so easy to do so. Change is and always will be difficult. It takes work and it takes time to make changes. To look at our world from a different perspective is not easy for many of us to do. It can be a matter of being unable - or unwilling - to do so. It is hard for some of us to re-learn things we feel we already know... to toss out those old ways of thinking.

But, it is important for our personal and professional growth to periodically look at things in a different light, from a different perspective. The world is constantly changing and continues to do so at warp speed. We must remember that the old ways of looking at things don't apply and many of the theories and concepts that once worked are meaningless in today's environment.

During January, many of us made New Year resolutions. Now that most of us have broken them, let’s start again… and this time, toss out those old things we have been holding onto that are no longer relevant or valuable. It could be books and other printed materials or perhaps, in some cases, what we need to toss out is the way we always thought about things, change how we view the world around us.

Continue to keep your batteries charged by re-igniting that hunger you have for learning by staying current with the latest trends and discoveries that apply to you, your family, and your career. In today's fast -paced world we must incorporate different ways of learning and obtaining information. Read different books and periodicals. Start investigating and learning new concepts. Use the internet more, take online courses, and participate in webinars when possible.

Clean out your "attic" and re-calibrate the way you think, the way you learn. Just like I am doing with those old boxes in my attic, throw out all of the old outdated materials and concepts and start fresh... start clean.

Well back to the attic....

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